An emergency vehicle. Photo by John Schreiber.
An emergency vehicle. Photo by John Schreiber.

A 55-year-old man suspected of driving a vehicle that left the scene after fatally striking a 4-year-old girl in Glendale turned himself in to police on Saturday.

Shant Badleean of Glendale was accompanied by family when he surrendered at Glendale Police headquarters, Lightfoot said.

He was arrested on suspicion of felony hit and run, with bail set at $50,000, she said.

The crash happened about 4:55 p.m. Friday in the 1200 block of East Wilson Avenue, near the intersection at Olive Street, Tahnee Lightfoot of the Glendale Police Department said.

Violeta Khachaturyan — who was with her parents when she was struck — ran from the north side of Wilson Avenue between two vehicles when she was struck in the westbound lane by the suspect’s westbound car and thrown into a parked vehicle, Lightfoot said.

She was taken to Glendale Adventist Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 5:34 p.m., Lightfoot said.

Investigators had been looking for a light-colored sedan that left the scene after striking the child, Lightfoot said.

Badleean was arrested about 4:20 p.m. and was being held at the Glendale police jail with a court appearance scheduled for Tuesday in Glendale, according sheriff’s online inmate records.

Mourners held a candlelight vigil tonight at the crash scene, where there is now a makeshift memorial of children’s toys, flowers and other items.

“This tragic event weighs heavy on the hearts of all our police and fire personnel who were involved in the response and treatment of little Violeta,” Glendale Police Chief Robert Castro said. “Our prayers and thoughts are with the family and friends as we all try to cope with this horrific event. I know my personnel and I gave our children an extra kiss good night last night.”

The Glendale Police Officers Association is accepting donations to help the girl’s family. Checks can be made out to: GPOA Cops for Kids, with a memo notation that the donation is for the Khachaturyan family. Questions about donations can be diercted to the GPOA office at (818) 246-9053.

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